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Sikhing Answers

Do I Have To Eat Langar?
Sikhing Answers - IX




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Is it necessary for me to partake in the langar when I go to the gurdwara to attend diwan, or to listen to kirtan?

If yes, why?

Should I eat before I go into the diwan hall, or after I am done there? Is it okay to take a break in-between, have langar, and then go back?


Posted on February 27, 2012

Closing Date: March 5, 2012


Conversation about this article

1: Surjit Singh Sidhu (United Kingdom), February 27, 2012, 11:04 AM.

Sikhism is not about pressuring anyone to do anything. It's our wish that counts, Guru only shows you the right path to reach the One! If one is not hungry, needn't force oneself to eat. However it's important to eat together with the sangat, where everyone is equal ... no matter what race, caste, colour; rich or poor. Guru Nanak's teaching is to follow your faith, but be one with humanity.

2: Harveer Singh (London, United Kingdom), February 27, 2012, 11:04 AM.

We can certainly take a break, eat and go back into the diwan.

3: Kanwarjeet Singh (U.S.A.), February 27, 2012, 11:18 AM.

Langar as well as kirtan are important. One is food for the body, the other food for the soul. The concept of langar involves, a) simple food, and (b) to eat with your brethren without any discrimination of class, caste, creed, gender, etc. It does not mean free food, as most people think. It is part of the triple concept of Guru Nanak: Naam Juppna, Vund Chhakna, and Kirat Karni.

4: Jasbinder Kaur (Mumbai, India), February 27, 2012, 11:26 AM.

Saannu langar chhakna chaahida hai ji. Kyo(n) ki pehle tunn di bhukh mitaao, fer munn di. Jey bhukha tunn sangat vich jaave taa(n) dhyaan nahi lagda naam simran vich. Tey Guru sahibaan ne vi hukam keeta hai: "pehle pangat fer sangat". Ehde vich koi harz nahi ... pehle langar chhako. Kayyi Sikh pehle Guru Maharaj dey darshan chaundhey ney, so langar baad ch chhakde.. Tey bukh laggey taa(n) sangat viccho(n) utth key jaake bhukh pyaas mitaaun ch koi harz nai.

5: Simon (London, United Kingdom), February 27, 2012, 12:53 PM.

Akbar, the Emperor of India, on his way to Lahore, paid a visit to Guru Amar Das at Goindwal. He was informed that he could not see the Guru until he had dined with others from the Guru's kitchen. It follows that to pay obeisance to the Guru, one has to partake in the langar first. The purpose is to erase all ostentations, and enter the Guru's darbar in utter humility. So why do most gurdwaras serve langar AFTER the ardaas? I think they've missed the point completely.

6: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), February 27, 2012, 1:11 PM.

If an ideology has this unique feature of feeding its community without ANY discrimination, then when we attend the gurdwara, partaking in langar is a vital part of the exercise and experience.

7: Gagan Preet Singh (New Delhi, India), February 27, 2012, 1:24 PM.

Mein Jasbinder ji naal poora sehmat haan ji.

8: Harpreet Singh (Delhi, India), February 27, 2012, 2:17 PM.

Yes, we must partake in the langar. It enhances community spirit as well as encourages seva spirit. Langar is, or should be, allowed before or even in-between the kirtan programs, and not just at the end. Langar must be simple, healthy, tasty and, if possible, be made and served by members of the sangat itself and not by paid staff. Poor and the destitute must be given full respect if they come to Guru ka Langar because they have come to Guru Nanak's House.

9: Tarminder Singh (United Kingdom), February 27, 2012, 3:01 PM.

Guru ka Langar promotes equality of all people by providing an environment in which everyone sits together, regardless of status. Even the food - intentionally prescribed to be vegetarian - is universal in that it can be consumed by Hindus and Muslims alike, for example. Alas, in modern times, many western gurdwara committees have introduced tables and chairs in their langar halls and have therefore diluted the obvious sense of humility and equality that is meant to equate prince and pauper in the court of Waheguru.

10: R. Singh (Canada), February 27, 2012, 8:28 PM.

Is one not supposed to go to the gurdwara unless one is hungry? In this day and age eating should not be indulged in lightly. We are not traveling on foot for miles that we need to refresh as soon as we get there, nor is any discrimination legally or religiously supported. Common sense dictates we understand there is no place for aparthied in Sikhi, under any circumstances. And when we do need to eat we share, or even if we do not eat, we help serve and participate in the langar. And of course we need to speak up when we see people keep poor people outside, to be fed separately as it is seen in some places in India. This issue is all about how we understand and practice Sikhi, rather than just partaking food, to prove a point.

11: B. Singh (Canada), February 27, 2012, 9:25 PM.

As others above me have noted, partaking in langar does promote equality and humility. Langar also serves a more practical purpose: it feeds people. If we state that partaking in langar is mandatory, regardless of whether or not one is actually hungry, then are we not ritualizing the langar? If we eat even when full then the food is no longer nourishing and is wasted.

12: Deepika (Jalandhar, Punjab), February 27, 2012, 9:53 PM.

langar Guru di dayn hai jo ki aapne pyareaa(n) nu kadi bhukha nahi dekh sakdey. Sannu langar zaroor chhakna chahida hai kyo(n) ki ehde naal saadey munn di bhukh mittdi hai tey parmatma da vaas hunda hai.

13: Chaman Lal (Dehli, India), February 28, 2012, 1:21 AM.

Langar is a good way of being one with the community all around the world.

14: Manjeet Shergill (Singapore), February 28, 2012, 4:40 AM.

I love langar.

15: Ajit Singh Batra (Pennsville, New Jersey, U.S.A..), February 28, 2012, 6:34 AM.

If you are going to gurdwara, then langar is as important as diwan. They go together (generally langar is nowadays held after diwan). If you are not hungry, you should visit langar premises and engage yourself in some activity like cleaning utensils or serving the sangat.

16: Amandeep (India), February 28, 2012, 12:46 PM.

Once we enter the gurdwara, every thing is significant - like attending the kirtan darbar, seva in the langar, cleaning of the gurdwara premises, etc. Eating and doing seva in the langar is also very important. But remember, eating langar is like having parshad, it is not meant to be a feast.

17: B.K. Chowla (India), March 01, 2012, 1:57 AM.

Whenever I visit Darbar Sahib, I do have langar.

18: Gurpreet Singh (Navi Mumbai, India), March 02, 2012, 9:35 AM.

Pehle pangat paache sangat ... This is Guru Sahib's furmaan. I guess this sums up the debate on whether I do have to eat langar. But that also does not mean blind belief because Sikhism is a layman's religion, simple and straight-forward, with no place for blind belief. Langar is basically food created by the people themselves and served without discrimination on any basis. It is an essential part of Guru Nanak's credo of Kirat Karo, Naam Juppo and Wund Chhako.

19: Gurdev Singh Bir (Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.), March 06, 2012, 10:18 AM.

In this day and age, we don't go with empty bellies to the Gurughar, and we are all well fed. It should not be imperative to eat langar if one is not hungry. It is however essential to receive parshad in the divan hall since that is a bakshish from our Guru. One must endeavor to partake in cooking and serving langar, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms and other duties, as these duties instill a sense of humility through serving the sangat and keeping the Guru ghar hygenic, as we do for our homes.

20: Ritu (Singapore / India ), October 11, 2013, 11:19 AM.

I have travelled to meet my husband here in Singapore. Wanted to know when is langar seva scheduled as I would like to participate. Back in India - Bangalore, for example, there are fixed days in gurdwaras. In Delhi langar seva is on every day 24 hours a day. Want to know how it is in Singapore.

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Sikhing Answers - IX"

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